PrimeCare

Find answers to frequently asked questions about PrimeCare at Massachusetts General Hospital, an elder care service program.

PrimeCare Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What makes PrimeCare unique?

A: PrimeCare is a medically focused program staffed by registered nurses and a clinical social worker who have extensive experience and expertise in both medical and psychosocial issues, as well as elder care services. Many elders who use PrimeCare have a medical issue(s) as the root cause of their condition, which can distract from making important decisions about quality of life. Accordingly, our professional care managers typically begin their assessments by developing a full understanding of the elder’s medical history, current medical condition and treatment plans. If medical care issues or concerns are identified, the PrimeCare care manager works with with the elder’s physician(s) and other care providers to ensure they receive the best health care possible. If an elder’s medical condition affects his/her psychosocial status, the care manager will assist in resolving these issues, as well. This integrated medical coordination allows the elder, caregiver and PrimeCare care manager to focus on making important life maintenance and care decisions as they arise.

Q: How does PrimeCare work?

A: Our initial and primary focus is the geriatric assessment and guidance for the elder and his/her caregivers. We use our expertise and knowledge of health and elder care to provide appropriate and cost-effective elder care options and decisions. Our care plans may be completed by the elder and/or caregiver, or our team can help with implementation. The choice is always individual. For example, we may recommend that a home health aide come to the elder’s home each day to prepare meals and do light chores. We can provide guidance in finding and selecting reputable, cost-appropriate agencies that provide these services. Regardless of the recommended service or care, we are available to provide any necessary help and guidance needed.

Q: Can PrimeCare work with my elder’s doctors to help with his/her medical care?

A: Yes. One of PrimeCare’s key strengths is our knowledge and expertise in geriatric medical management and patient care. Our care managers are registered nurses and a clinical social worker who know how to navigate complex health care systems, and who are comfortable interacting with medical providers on behalf of the elder. With permission, we will gladly work with the elder’s doctors to ensure full understanding of the medical issues under treatment and the physician's related care plans. We will help arrange and coordinate the elder’s care, and even convene and participate in elder, family and doctors meetings to provide caregiver support.

Q: Does my doctor need to be a Massachusetts General Hospital physician?

A: No. We will provide medical and elder case management regardless of the physician’s practice location or hospital affiliation.

Q: Is PrimeCare affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital?

A: Yes. PrimeCare is an elder care program sponsored and supported by Mass General. Our primary focus and goal is to do what is best for our elder client and the caregiver(s) who supports them, regardless of the elder’s physician or hospital affiliations.

Q: Is there anything we can do to reduce our elder’s medication costs?

A: In many cases, medication costs for the elderly can be reduced or eliminated. Many elders do not fully understand the drug prescription benefit in their insurance plans, or may not understand how to submit prescriptions to ensure benefit coverage. Other elders and their caregivers may not be aware of free or reduced-cost medication programs in their community. We can also work with the elder’s primary care physician and other providers to coordinate medication management.

Q: Can PrimeCare help when our family disagrees over what is best for our elder?

A: In each engagement, PrimeCare is committed to doing what is best for the elder. Our care managers bring years of experience and expertise in elder care, and are experts in working with families and caregivers to find solutions. We bring professional and objective assessments and recommendations to complex and emotional situations. By providing expert, objective guidance, PrimeCare allows families to make decisions that will be best for their elder and the family who cares for them.

Q: Can you help when the elder resides outside Massachusetts?

A: Yes, however our elder care services may be limited to general care guidance, including identifying caregiver solutions, help with financial or legal matters or interfacing with the care management organization supporting the elder. If an elder is moving from out-of-state to a Massachusetts living situation, we can help to facilitate the move and identify living options, care programs and more.

Q: Does Medicare cover PrimeCare services?

A: No. PrimeCare is a fee-for-service program that may be covered by some long-term care insurance policies.